Black People : (1 more) Why I’m Just Saying No to ‘The Help’ and Its Historical Whitewash

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Why I’m Just Saying No to ‘The Help’ and Its Historical Whitewash


    [​IMG]

    by Akiba Solomon - August 10 2011

    The film adaptation of “The Help” opens today. Predictably, it’s receiving hype equal to that of Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel about a young white woman in early ’60s Mississippi who risks her social position to write an oral history of local black maids.
    As a racial justice and gender writer, a pop culture observer, and an African American woman who rides for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Cicely Tyson and Aunjanue Ellis, I feel obligated to see this film.
    But, **** it, I’m jaded, and it has absolutely nothing to do with watching black women portray domestic workers onscreen. There’s no shame in domestic work, unless you’re talking about their employers’ abuse and wage exploitation.
    I just can’t bring myself to pay $12.50 after taxes and fees to sit in an aggressively air conditioned, possibly bed bug-infested New York City movie theater to watch these sisters lend gravitas to Stockett’s white heroine mythology. I’m sorry, but the trailer alone features way too many group hugs to be trusted.
    I’ve fallen for the “Give it a chance! The performances are great! Support black actors!” okey doke too many times. I paid cash money for “Monster’s Ball” because I’d heard Mos Def did the **** thing—and my blood pressure still hasn’t returned to normal. I did the same for “Precious” and fell out with several people who insisted that I ignore its rampant colorism, lack of systemic critique and the director’s obvious hatred for fat brown female bodies. I even gave Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” a try, only to be betrayed by that hamfisted, gay-vilifying storyline about the DL black husband who (of course) gives his wife AIDS.
    So I’m passing on “The Help.” And I’m feeling vindicated by several very smart reviews...
    The best review of “The Help” I’ve read so far was written by novelist Martha Southgate. She ethers the novel and film so throughly that I almost feel sorry for Hollywood’s historical fantasy merchants. Almost. Anyway, an excerpt:


    There have been thousands of words written about Stockett’s skills, her portrayal of the black women versus the white women, her right to tell this story at all. I won’t rehash those arguments, except to say that I found the novel fast-paced but highly problematic. Even more troubling, though, is how the structure of narratives like The Help underscores the failure of pop culture to acknowledge a central truth: Within the civil rights movement, white people were the help.


    The architects, visionaries, prime movers, and most of the on-the-ground laborers of the civil rights movement were African-American. Many white Americans stood beside them, and some even died beside them, but it was not their fight — and more important, it was not their idea.


    Implicit in The Help and a number of other popular works that deal with the civil rights era is the notion that a white character is somehow crucial or even necessary to tell this particular tale of black liberation. What’s more, to imply that what the maids Aibileen and Minny are working against is simply a refusal on everyone’s part to believe that ”we’re all the same underneath” is to simplify the horrors of Jim Crow to a truly damaging degree.


    This isn’t the first time the civil rights movement has been framed this way fictionally, especially on film. Most Hollywood civil rights movies feature white characters in central, sometimes nearly solo, roles. My favorite (not!) is Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning, which gives us two white FBI agents as heroes of the movement. FBI agents! Given that J. Edgar Hoover did everything short of shoot Martin Luther King Jr. himself in order to damage or discredit the movement, that goes from troubling to appalling.
    The rest: http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/08/why_im_just_saying_no_to_the_help.html
     
  2. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    this is nothing more than the God-complex that some white people have...they feel that they always have to be the orators of history and the saviors of all...look at the crusades...look at slavery...look at the colonization of america...this was all due their God-complex in terms of the belief that they were doing God's will and helping out the heathens....i just hate that a movie like this is getting so much hype...but i'm glad rise of the apes still won at the box office...maybe there is some symbolism there....lol

    one love
    khasm
     
  3. Bootzey

    Bootzey Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I just SAW this movie. The white people were not saviors of the Black people. Actually they came off smelling like poop.... literally!
     
  4. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    This where BLACKARATION comes in at , these type of showcases try to take
    down the truth and history of what was and give a better view of themselves
    as the great white hope !............

    I never fall or read into anything they say or do.....
     
  5. wetac0s

    wetac0s Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Speak the truth! But I really don't expect much from racist "kaballah"-wood.

    This movie reminds me of the "Blindside". It's like another movie to prove how "advanced and open" our society is and how "racism is gone" nowadays.

    It's like everytime White people want to make themselves feel good - they have to drag Black people into it.
     
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